[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 97 (Thursday, May 19, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28910-28913]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-12316]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 93, 94, and 98

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0093]


Importation of Live Swine, Swine Semen, Pork, and Pork Products 
From Liechtenstein and Switzerland

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the 
importation of animals and animal products to add Liechtenstein and 
Switzerland to the region of Europe that we recognize as low risk for 
classical swine fever (CSF). We are also proposing to add Liechtenstein 
to the list of regions we consider free from swine vesicular disease 
(SVD) and to the list of regions considered free from foot-and-mouth 
disease (FMD) and rinderpest. These proposed actions would relieve some 
restrictions on the importation into the United States of certain 
animals and animal products from those regions, while continuing to 
protect against the introduction of CSF, SVD, FMD, and rinderpest into 
the United States.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 
18, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2009-0093 to submit or view comments and 
to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send one copy of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2009-0093, Regulatory Analysis and 
Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to 
Docket No. APHIS-2009-0093.
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this 
docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of 
the USDA South Building, 14th Street and

[[Page 28911]]

Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure 
someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.
    Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Kelly Rhodes, Regionalization 
Evaluation Services, Import, Sanitary Trade Issues Team, National 
Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 38, 
Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-4356.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the 
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the 
importation of animals and animal products into the United States to 
guard against the introduction of animal diseases not currently present 
or prevalent in this country. The regulations in 9 CFR parts 93, 94, 
and 98 (referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the 
importation of specified animals and animal products to prevent the 
introduction into the United States of various animal diseases, 
including classical swine fever (CSF), swine vesicular disease (SVD), 
foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and rinderpest. These are dangerous and 
destructive communicable diseases of ruminants and swine.
    Sections 94.9 and 94.10 of the regulations list regions of the 
world that are declared free of or low-risk for CSF. Switzerland and 
Liechtenstein are not currently listed in these sections. However, the 
surrounding APHIS-defined European Union (EU) CSF region, which is 
composed of the 19 Member States of the EU that we currently recognize 
as a single region with regard to CSF, is listed as low-risk for CSF. 
Sections 94.24 and 98.38 specify restrictions necessary to mitigate the 
risk of introducing CSF into the United States via the importation of 
pork, pork products, live swine, and swine semen from that region.
    Section 94.12 of the regulations lists regions that are declared 
free of SVD. Section 94.13 of the regulations lists regions that have 
been determined to be free of SVD, but that are subject to certain 
restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships 
with SVD-affected regions. Switzerland is currently listed in these 
sections, but Liechtenstein is not.
    Section 94.1 of the regulations lists regions of the world that are 
declared free of rinderpest or free of both rinderpest and FMD. Section 
94.11 of the regulations lists regions that have been determined to be 
free of rinderpest and FMD, but that are subject to certain 
restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships 
with rinderpest- or FMD-affected regions. Switzerland is currently 
listed in these sections, but Liechtenstein is not.
    Switzerland and Liechtenstein entered into a customs union treaty 
that took effect in 1924. Under the treaty, Switzerland formulates 
trade policy measures affecting imports and the agricultural policy of 
the customs union. In January 2009, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the 
European Commission (EC) fully implemented an agreement to eliminate 
barriers to trade in agricultural products, including live animals and 
animal products. As a result, trade between these entities now occurs 
under the same conditions as trade between EU Member States.

Risk Evaluation

    In 2006, the Government of Switzerland requested that APHIS 
evaluate the animal health status of Switzerland and Liechtenstein with 
respect to CSF and provided information in support of this request in 
accordance with 9 CFR part 92, ``Importation of Animals and Animal 
Products; Procedures for Requesting Recognition of Regions.'' Under 
Sec.  92.2, each request for approval to export animals or animal 
products to the United States from a foreign country must include 
information concerning the authority, organization, and infrastructure 
of the veterinary services in the region; the status of the region and 
adjacent regions with regard to the disease(s) under evaluation; the 
degree to which the region is separated from regions of higher risk; 
and livestock demographics and marketing practices. The foreign region 
must also provide information regarding vaccination against the 
disease(s) of interest (if practiced); the extent of an active disease 
control program; movement controls and biosecurity for movement from 
higher risk regions; disease surveillance; diagnostic laboratory 
capabilities; and emergency response capacity.
    In response to Switzerland's request, APHIS evaluated the risk of 
introducing CSF virus into the United States via the importation of 
swine and swine products from Switzerland and Liechtenstein. This 
evaluation was completed in August of 2009 and may be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room. (Instructions for 
accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of 
the reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the 
beginning of this proposed rule.) The evaluation, as well as the 
information evaluated, may also be viewed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/reg_request.shtml by following the link for 
``Information previously submitted by Regions requesting export 
approval and their supporting documentation.''
    Our evaluation found no evidence that CSF currently exists in 
Switzerland or Liechtenstein and demonstrated no immediate and 
significant risks associated with this disease. Nonetheless, there is a 
potential for introduction of CSF virus into Switzerland and/or 
Liechtenstein. This is primarily because Switzerland and Liechtenstein 
import substantial quantities of pork and pork products from Germany 
and France, without prohibiting sourcing from restricted areas 
established due to CSF. In addition, most road and rail traffic from EU 
Member States into Switzerland is not subject to customs inspection. It 
is therefore easy for travelers to enter with commodities for personal 
consumption that are derived from domestic swine or wild boar, from 
both restricted and nonrestricted areas of EU Member States.
    Switzerland and Liechtenstein have adopted EC regulations and 
controls regarding animal health and abolished border veterinary 
controls, thereby facilitating free trade in live animals and animal 
products. These two countries are situated in the middle of a region 
that APHIS recognizes as low risk for CSF, currently referred to in the 
regulations as the APHIS-defined EU CSF region. APHIS considers the EU 
Member States comprising this region to have the same low level of risk 
due to harmonized EC legislation and free trade on the internal common 
market, factors that now apply to Switzerland and Liechtenstein as 
well.
    The APHIS-defined EU CSF region is subject to the import conditions 
specified in Sec.  94.24 for breeding swine, pork, and pork products, 
and Sec.  98.38 for swine semen. Section 94.24 prohibits sourcing of 
live swine, pork, and pork products for export to the United States 
from areas of the EU that are restricted due to CSF in wild boar or 
domestic swine. The regulations also prohibit commingling of live 
swine, pork, and pork products for export with such commodities from 
restricted areas. Section 98.38 prohibits sourcing of swine semen for 
export to the United

[[Page 28912]]

States from areas of the EU that are restricted due to CSF in wild boar 
or domestic swine, as well as commingling of donor boars with live 
swine from restricted regions.
    The prohibition on sourcing from areas of the APHIS-defined EU CSF 
region that are restricted due to CSF in domestic swine extends until 
at least 6 months after cleaning and disinfection of the last affected 
premises. This addresses the possibility of reoccurrence of CSF in 
domestic swine if restrictions are removed after 30 days, as allowed by 
EC regulations. The regulations also address the risk associated with 
potential commingling of pork and pork products for export to the 
United States with such commodities sourced from restricted areas 
within the APHIS-defined EU CSF region.
    In the risk evaluation, APHIS concludes that the risk profile for 
the common veterinary area formed by Switzerland and Liechtenstein is 
similar to that of the APHIS-defined EU CSF region. Applying the 
provisions of Sec. Sec.  94.24 and 98.38 to Switzerland and 
Liechtenstein would address the risk issues discussed above and result 
in a level of risk that is equivalent to, or less than, that portion of 
the EU authorized to export breeding swine, swine semen, and pork and 
pork products to the United States.

Summary of Proposed Changes

    Based on the finding of the risk evaluation, we are proposing to 
add Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the region of Europe (currently 
referred to in the regulations as the APHIS-defined EU CSF region) that 
we currently recognize as a low-risk region for CSF and from which 
breeding swine, swine semen, and pork and pork products may be imported 
into the United States under certain conditions. In order to add 
Switzerland and Liechtenstein to this region and provide flexibility in 
the event that other non-EU countries in Europe may be added to this 
region in the future, we would amend the regulations to refer to this 
region as the ``APHIS-defined European CSF region.'' These proposed 
actions would relieve some restrictions on the importation into the 
United States of certain animals and animal products from Switzerland 
and Liechtenstein, while continuing to protect against the introduction 
of CSF into the United States.
    In a related matter, certain conditions in the regulations for 
importation of breeding swine, swine semen, and pork and pork products 
from the APHIS-defined EU CSF region refer to the roles and 
responsibilities of the competent veterinary authority of EU Member 
States within the region. However, since neither Switzerland nor 
Liechtenstein are Member States of the EU, we are proposing to remove 
such references from the regulations and instead simply refer to the 
competent veterinary authority.
    Finally, as noted above, the regulations currently list 
Switzerland, but not Liechtenstein, as free of SVD, FMD, and 
rinderpest, subject to the restrictions described in Sec. Sec.  94.11 
and 94.13 of the regulations. FMD was last detected in Liechtenstein in 
1964. Neither SVD nor rinderpest has ever been reported in 
Liechtenstein. Switzerland and Liechtenstein formed a common veterinary 
area with an integrated veterinary system in 1924 and have effectively 
been a single region with regard to veterinary controls on animal 
health since that time. For these reasons, we are also proposing to add 
Liechtenstein to the list of regions recognized as free of SVD, and to 
the list of SVD-free regions whose exports of pork and pork products to 
the United States are subject to certain restrictions to prevent the 
introduction of SVD into this country. In addition, we are proposing to 
add Liechtenstein to the list of regions recognized as free of FMD and 
rinderpest and also to the list of FMD- and rinderpest-free regions 
whose exports of ruminant and swine meat and products to the United 
States are subject to certain restrictions to prevent the introduction 
of FMD and rinderpest into this country.
    These proposed actions would ensure that Liechtenstein is afforded 
the same status as Switzerland with regard to these diseases, while 
continuing to protect against the introduction of CSF, SVD, FMD, and 
rinderpest into the United States.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule is subject to Executive Order 12866. However, 
for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities.
    Our analysis identifies U.S. swine producers as the small entities 
potentially affected by the provisions of the rule, but also notes that 
Switzerland and Liechtenstein have, historically, exported a minimal 
amount of swine or swine products. Copies of the full analysis are 
available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for 
instructions for accessing Regulations.gov)
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Service has determined that this action would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects

9 CFR Part 93

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Poultry and poultry products, 
Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

9 CFR Part 94

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Meat and meat products, Milk, 
Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

9 CFR Part 98

    Animal diseases, Imports.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR parts 93, 94, and 98 as 
follows:

PART 93--IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, 
AND CERTAIN ANIMAL, BIRD, AND POULTRY PRODUCTS; REQUIREMENTS FOR 
MEANS OF CONVEYANCE AND SHIPPING CONTAINERS

    1. The authority citation for part 93 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 1622 and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    2. In Sec.  93.500, the definition of APHIS-defined EU CSF region 
is removed and a definition of APHIS-defined European CSF region is 
added, in alphabetical order, to read as follows:


Sec.  93.500  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APHIS-defined European CSF region. The regions of Austria, Belgium, 
the

[[Page 28913]]

Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, 
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, 
Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the 
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and Northern 
Ireland).
* * * * *


Sec.  93.505  [Amended]

    3. In Sec.  93.505, paragraph (a), the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF 
region'' are removed and the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF 
region'' are added in their place.

PART 94--RINDERPEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, EXOTIC NEWCASTLE 
DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, CLASSICAL SWINE FEVER, SWINE 
VESICULAR DISEASE, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED 
AND RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS

    4. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 
21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    5. In Sec.  94.0, the definition of APHIS-defined EU CSF region is 
removed and a definition of APHIS-defined European CSF region is added, 
in alphabetical order, to read as follows:


Sec.  94.0  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APHIS-defined European CSF region. The regions of Austria, Belgium, 
the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, 
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, 
Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the 
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and Northern 
Ireland).
* * * * *


Sec.  94.1  [Amended]

    6. In Sec.  94.1, paragraph (a)(2) is amended by adding the word 
``Liechtenstein,'' immediately after the word ``Latvia,''.


Sec.  94.9  [Amended]

    7. In Sec.  94.9, paragraphs (b) and (c) introductory text, the 
words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' are removed each time they appear 
and the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' are added in their 
place.


Sec.  94.10  [Amended]

    8. In Sec.  94.10, paragraphs (b) and (c), the words ``APHIS-
defined EU CSF region'' are removed each time they appear and the words 
``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' are added in their place.


Sec.  94.11  [Amended]

    9. In Sec.  94.11, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the word 
``Liechtenstein,'' immediately after the word ``Latvia,''.


Sec.  94.12  [Amended]

    10. In Sec.  94.12, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the word 
``Liechtenstein,'' immediately after the word ``Latvia,''.


Sec.  94.13  [Amended]

    11. In Sec.  94.13, in the introductory text of the section, the 
first sentence is amended by adding the word ``Liechtenstein,'' 
immediately after the word ``Latvia,''.


Sec.  94.24  [Amended]

    12. Section 94.24 is amended as follows:
    a. In the section heading, by removing the words ``APHIS-defined EU 
CSF region'' and adding the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' 
in their place.
    b. In paragraph (a) introductory text and paragraph (a)(1)(i), by 
removing the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' each time they 
appear and adding the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' in 
their place.
    c. In paragraph (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii), by removing the words 
``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' each time they appear and adding the 
words ``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' in their place, and by 
removing the words ``of the Member State'' each time they appear.
    d. In paragraph (a)(5), by removing the words ``of the APHIS-
defined EU CSF region Member State''.
    e. In paragraph (b) introductory text and paragraph (b)(2)(i), by 
removing the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' each time they 
appear and adding the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' in 
their place.
    f. In paragraph (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii), by removing the words 
``the APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' each time they appear and adding 
the words ``the APHIS-defined European CSF region'' in their place, and 
by removing the words ``of the Member State'' each time they appear.
    g. In paragraph (b)(6), by removing the words ``of the APHIS-
defined EU CSF region Member State''.

PART 98--IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMAL EMBRYOS AND ANIMAL SEMEN

    13. The authority citation for part 98 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 1622 and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    14. In Sec.  98.30, the definition of APHIS-defined EU CSF region 
is removed and a definition of APHIS-defined European CSF region is 
added, in alphabetical order, to read as follows:


Sec.  98.30  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APHIS-defined European CSF region. The regions of Austria, Belgium, 
the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, 
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, 
Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the 
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and Northern 
Ireland).
* * * * *


Sec.  98.38  [Amended]

    15. Section 98.38 is amended as follows:
    a. In the section heading, by removing the words ``APHIS-defined EU 
CSF region'' and adding the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' 
in their place.
    b. In the introductory text, by removing the words ``APHIS-defined 
EU CSF region'' and adding the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF 
region'' in their place.
    c. In paragraph (a), by removing the words ``of the APHIS-defined 
EU CSF region Member State''.
    d. In paragraph (b)(1), by removing the words ``APHIS-defined EU 
CSF region'' and adding the words ``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' 
in their place.
    e. In paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3), by removing the words ``APHIS-
defined EU CSF region'' each time they appear and adding the words 
``APHIS-defined European CSF region'' in their place, and by removing 
the words ``of the Member State'' each time they appear.
    f. In paragraph (i), by removing the words ``of the APHIS-defined 
EU CSF region Member State''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 13th day of May 2011.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-12316 Filed 5-18-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P